S-2 Branch

APO 742, US ARMY      
16 December 47       

Subject:  Horton Brothers (Flying Saucers)

To        :  Deputy Director of Intelligence
                European Command, Frankfurt
                APO 757, US Army

(SOURCE:    A-2)

1.    The Horten brothers, Reimer and Walter, are residing in Goettingen

at present.  However, both of them are travelling a great deal throughout the
Bi-Zone.  Walter at present is travelling in Bavaria in search of a suitable
place of employment.   It is believed that he may have contacted USAFE Head-
quarters in Wiesbaden for possible evacuation to the United States under
"Paper Clip".  Reimer is presently studying advanced mathematics at the
university of Bonn, and is about to obtain his doctor's degree.  It is
believed that when his studies are completed he intends to accept a teaching
position at the Institute for Technology (Techniscbe Hochechule) in
Braunshweig sometime in February or March 1948.

2.    Both brothers are exceedingly peculiar and can be easily classified

as eccentric and individualistic.  Especially is this so of Reimer.  He is the
one who developed the theory of the flying wing and subsequently of all the
models and aircrafts built by the brothers.  Walter, on the other hand is the
engineer who tried to put into practice the several somewhat fantastic ideas
of his brother.   The clash of personalities resulted in a continuous quarrel
and friction between the two brothers.  Reimer was always developing new ideas
which would increase the speed of the aircraft or improve its
maneuverability; Walter on the other hand was tearing down the fantastic
ideas of his brother by practical calculations and considerations.

3.    The two men worked together up to and including the "Horten VIII" a

flying wing intended to be a fighter plane powered with two Hirt engines
(HM-60-R) with a performance of approximately 650 horsepower each.   After the
"Horten VIII" was finished, one of the usual and frequent quarrels separated
the two brothers temporarily.  Walter went to work alone on the "Horten IX",
which is a fighter plane of the flying wing design, with practically no
changes from the model VIII except for the engines.  Walter substituted the
Hirt engines with BMW Jets of the type TL-004.  The plane was made completely
of plywood and was furnished with a Messerschmidt ME-109 Landing gear.

The model of this aircraft (Horten IX) was tested extensively in the

supersonic wind tunnel (Mach No. 1.0) of the aero-dynamic testing institute
(Aerodynamische Versuchsanstalt), located in Goettingen.  The tests were
conducted in the late summer of 1944 under the personal supervision of
Professor Betz, chief of the institute.  Betz at that time was approximately
sixty years old and next to Prandtel (then seventy-eight years old), was
considered to be the best man on aerodynamics in Germany.  Betz's attitude
toward the flying wing is very conservative to say the least.  Basically he is
against the design of any flying wing.   According to the official reports
about the tests, air disturbances were created on the wing tips, resulting in
air vacuums, which in turn would prevent the steering mechanism from


functioning properly.  This seems logical as, of course, neither the ailerons
nor the rudders could properly accomplish their function in a partial vacuum
created by air disturbances and whirls.

In spite of that, two Horten IX's were built and tried out by a test

pilot, Eugen (now living in Goettingen) at Rechlin in the fall of 1944.  One
of the two planes, piloted by another test pilot, developed trouble with one
of the jet engines while the pilot was trying to ascertain the maximum rate
of climb.  The right jet stopped suddenly, causing the aircraft to go into an
immediate spin and subsequent crash in which the pilot was killed. Eugen,
however, was more fortunate in putting the other ship through all the
necessary paces without the least trouble.  He maintains that the maximum
speed attained was around 950 km per hour, and that there were no steering
difficulties whatsoever, and that the danger of both head and tail spins was
no greater that any other conventional aircraft.

After extensive tests, the Horten IX was accepted by the German Air

Force as represented by Goering, who ordered immediate mass production.  The
first order went to Gothaer Waggon Fabrik, located in Gotha (Thuringia) in
January 1945.  Goering requested that ten planes be built immediately and that
the entire factory was to concentrate and be converted to the production of
the Horten IX.  The firm in question received all the plans and designs of the
ship.  In spite of this explicit order, production of the Horten IX was never
started.   The technical manager of the firm, Berthold, immediately upon
receipt of the plans, submitted a number of suggestions to improve the
aircraft.  It is believed that his intention was to eliminate the Horten
brothers as inventors and to modify the ship to such an extent that it would
be more his brain child than anybody else's.  Numerous letters were exchanged
from High Command of the German Air Force and Dr. Berthold, which finally
were interrupted by the armistice in May 1945.   When US troops occupied the
town of Gotha, the designs of the Horten IX were kept in hiding and not
handed over to American Military authorities.  The original designs in
possession of the Horten brothers were hidden in a salt mine in
Salzdettfurt, but the model tested by Eugen was destroyed in April 1945.  The
original designs were recovered from Salzdettfurt by British authorities in
the summer of 1945.

The Horten brothers, together with Dr. Betz, Eugen and Dr. Stueper

(the test pilot of the aerodynamic institute in Goettingen), were invited to
go to England in the late summer of 1945 where they remained for approximately
ninety days.  They were interrogated and questioned about their ideas and were
given several problems to work on.   However Reimer was very unwilling to
cooperate to any extent whatsoever, unless an immediate contract was offered
to him and his brother.  Walter, on the other hand, not being a theoritician,
was unable to comply and Reimer was sufficiently stubborn not to move a
finger.  Upon their return to Goettingen Walter remained in contact with
British authorities and was actually paid a salary by the British between
October 1945 and April 1946, as the British contemplated but never did offer
him employment.  Walter subsequently had a final argument with his brother and
the two decided to part.  Reimer then went to the university of Bonn to obtain
his degree, and Walter organized an engineering office in Goettingen which
served as a cover firm to keep him out of trouble with the labor authorities.
Walter married Fraulien von der Groeben, an extremely intelligent woman,
former chief secretary to Air Force General Udet.

In the spring of 1947 Walter Horten heard about the flying wing design

in the United states by Northrop and decided to write Northrop for
employment.   He was answered in the summer of 1947 by a letter in which
Northrop pointed out that he, himself, could not do anything to get him over
to the States, but that he would welcome it very much if he could come to the
United States and take up employment with the firm.  He recommended that Walter
should get in touch with USAFE Headquarters in Wiesbaden in order
to obtain necessary clearance.



4.   As can be seen from the above, most of the Hortens' work took 

place in Western Germany.  According to our source, neither of the brothers
ever had any contact with any representative of the Soviet Air Force or any
other foreign power.  In spite of the fact that Reimer is rather disgusted
with the British for not offering him a contract, it is believed very
unlikely that he has approached the Soviet authorities in order to sell out
to them.  The only possible link between the Horten brothers and the Soviet
authorities is the fact that a complete set of plans and designs were hidden
at the Gothaer Waggon Fabrik and the knowledge of this is known by Dr.
Berthold and a number of other engineers.  It is possible and likely that
either Berthold or any of the others having knowledge of the Horten IX
would have sold out to the Soviet authorities for one of a number of reasons.
However, this will be checked upon in the future, and it is hoped that
contact with the the Gothaer Waggon Fabrik can be established.

5.    As far as the "flying saucer" is concerned, a number of people

were contacted in order to verify whether or not any such design at any time
was contemplated or existed in the files of any German air research
institute.  The people contacted included the following:
Walter Horten
Fraulien von der Groeben, former Secretary to Air Force General Udet

Guenter Heinrich, former office for research of the High Command of

the Air Force in Berlin
Professor Betz, former chief of Aerodynamic Institute in Goettingen

Eugen, former test pilot

All the above mentioned people contacted independently and at different times
are very insistent on the fact that to their knowledge and belief no such
design ever existed nor was projected by any of the German air research
institutions.   While they agree that such a design would be highly practical
and desirable, they do not know anything about its possible realization now
or in the past.



Lt Col         GSC

Telephone  BERLIN   44715

Copy furnished:
      Director of Intelligence, OMGUS


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